China’s smartphone sales declined 14% year-over-year (YoY) in 2022 to record their fifth consecutive year of decline, according to Counterpoint Research. However, Apple’s iPhone sales outperformed the country’s market in 2022, falling by only 3% YoY.
The tech giant was able to outperform the market to become the #2 brand in China for the first time for a full year. It also reached its highest-ever quarterly share, capturing 23.7% of the sales in quarter four of 2022. This was despite the shortages faced by the iPhone 14 Pro versions as well as the comparatively lower popularity of the iPhone 14 series’ non-Pro versions due to limited upgrades compared to the iPhone 13.
Major Android manufacturers such as OPPO (-27% YoY), vivo (-23% YoY) and Xiaomi (-19% YoY) saw big YoY declines. Looking ahead, Counterpoint Research expects a market turnaround once COVID-19 herd immunity is achieved, which we expect sometime in quarter two of 2023.